Headlines 17/10/2020 08:13 SA

Resolving C/O-related issues arising from implementation of EVFTA

Châu Thanh

On October 5, 2020, the General Department of Customs issues the Official Dispatch No. Công văn 6464/TCHQ-GSQL on dealing with several issues arising from the implementation of the Europe-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

According to this document, the General Department of Customs provides instructions on how to deal with several issues arising from the implementation of EVFTA as follows:

1. Documentation requirements for self-certification of the origin of goods in the case of sellers based within the territories of EVFTA’s non-member states:  

Article 24 of Circular No. 11/2020/TT-BCT sets out regulations regarding the form of declaration and information provided in origin self-certifications for goods of EU origin.

Article 3 of the Circular No. 11/2020/TT-BCT imposes the specific regulation regarding exporters: “exporter means a person or entity, located in the exporting Party, that is exporting the goods to the other Party and is able to prove the origin of the exported goods...”.

Checking of the validity of the self-certification of the origin of goods and the origin of the imported goods is subject to regulations laid down in the Circular No. 38/2018/TT-BTC (amended and supplemented by the Circular No. 62/2019/TT-BTC) and other relevant documents.

HCMC Customs Department is requested to follow instructions provided in those Circulars to carry out their checking and take actions prescribed by law.

2. Documentation requirements for self-certification of the origin of shipments containing various goods of origin from different member states or declaration of the origin of goods on commercial documents for of the goods of non-EU origin:     

- As advised by the EU Customs Union, when declaring the origin of goods using the sample texts given in Appendix VII to the Circular No. 11/2020/TT-BCT EU exporters may enter either "EU" or “European Union”.   Exporters are not allowed to specify the name of any European country in their declaration forms. In case of detecting any C/O documents with the name of any European country on them, Customs Departments of cities and provinces must seek the General Department of Customs' further instructions.  

- Article 24 of Circular No. 11/2020/TT-BCT prescribes that exporters may self-certify the origin of goods on invoices, shipping notes or other commercial documents providing full information about exported goods. According to this regulation, on commercial documents, declaration of goods of both EU and non-EU origin is not going to impact the legality of declarations for goods origin certifications on condition that self-certification of the origin of the goods of EU origin conforms to the regulations laid down in the Circular No. 11/2020/TT-BCT and other relevant documents.

3. Documents evidencing non-alteration goods:

HCMC Customs Department is requested to comply with the regulations laid down in clause 4 and 5 of Article 17 in the Circular No. 11/2020/TT-BCT regarding documents evidencing goods whose origins are not altered during transit through non-member states en route to countries of destination, specifically as follows:  

“4. In case of doubt, the importing Party may request the declarant to provide evidence of compliance, which may be given by any means, including:

a) contractual transport documents such as bills of lading.

b) factual or concrete evidence based on marking or numbering of packages.

c) any evidence related to the goods themselves.

d) a certificate of non-manipulation provided by the customs authorities of the country or countries of transit or splitting, or any other documents demonstrating that the goods remained under customs supervision in the country or countries of transit or splitting.

5. For the purpose of paragraph 4, "in case of doubt" means that the importing Party has the discretion of determining the cases for which the declarant is requested to provide evidence of compliance with paragraph 4 but it cannot routinely require the submission of that evidence.”

In case of facing issues going beyond their jurisdiction, HCMC Customs Department must report on these issues and relevant shipment documents to the General Department of Customs for further guidelines.

4. Checking of REX codes:

- In order to check the validity of REX code of a European exporting company, please visit the website:

https://ec.europa.eu/taxation customs/dds2/eos/rex_validation.jsp?Lang=en.

According to the notice of the EU Customs Union, customs authorities can access exporter information (such as company name, address, manufacturing or trading company), list of goods,... in the event that the exporter agrees to disseminate this information on websites. However, in some cases, several German exporters for instance, only information about REX codes and validity periods of REX codes are published.

- Checking of the validity of documents on self-certification of the origin of goods with respect to goods of EU origin will conform to the guidance of the Ministry of Industry and Trade in Circular 11/2020/TT-BCT; Circular 38/2018/TTBTC (amended and supplemented in Circular 62/2019/TT-BTC) and related guiding documents.

5. Handling of taxes on imported shipments of which import customs declarations are registered from August 1, 2020 to earlier than September 18, 2020 (the effective date of the Decree No. 111/2020/ND-CP):

HCMC Customs Department is requested to follow the instructions given in section 3.1 of the Official Dispatch No. 6283/TCHQ-TXNK dated September 24, 2020 regarding the handling of surplus taxes.

Official Dispatch No. 6464/TCHQ-GSQL is issued by the General Department of Customs on October 5, 2020.

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